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The Scorpion King

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Scorpion King

Starring: The Rock, Michael Duncan
Director: Chuck Russell
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: April 2002
Genres: Action, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Grant Heslov, Steven Brandt, Bernard Hill, Ralph Moeller, David Sherrill, Peter Facinelli, Kelly Hu

Review by Steve Rhodes
½ star out of 4

Groan. THE SCORPION KING, directed by Chuck Russell (BLESS THE CHILD), must come from some parallel universe in which every movie is a turkey. In that alternate world, it strives to be king. Unlike BATTLEFIELD EARTH, which was so laughably bad that it was almost enjoyable at times, THE SCORPION KING is stupefyingly terrible from beginning to end. Starring the WWF wrestler known as The Rock, the movie can best be thought of as a non-stop, violent video game for 12-year-old boys who love watching the WWF's choreographed mayhem.

For those of you who have never cultivated a taste for professional wrestling, you will probably remember The Rock from THE MUMMY RETURNS, in which he had a small role. THE SCORPION KING is a spin off from THE MUMMY's lucrative franchise.

Perhaps the movie's biggest surprise is that it took only four writers, Jonathan Hales, David Hayter, William Osborne and Stephen Sommers to come up with something this awful. Typical of the homilies it gives us is "Live well. Die well." Dramatic moments merit such treasures as, "I've come for the woman -- and your head."

An instant candidate for worst-of-the-year lists, it doesn't have anything on its mind other than brawling with big knives and shiny swords. The setup has Mathayus (The Rock) fighting Memnon (Steven Brand) to the death in a long series of battles. (Mathayus eventually wins the title of Scorpion King, and shortly thereafter sets us up for a sequel.) Kelly Hu is on board as a character called Cassandra. Her only purpose is to show off as much of her breasts as possible in a PG-13 movie. Michael Clarke Duncan, as Balthazar, comes to Mathayus's aid, and Grant Heslov plays Mathayus's canonical comedic sidekick.

Still, if you are a 12-year-old boy -- plus or minus a year or two -- this is just the motion picture for you, filled with mindless moments of breathtaking idiocy but with lots of action.

THE SCORPION KING runs 1:25. It is rated PG-13 for "intense sequences of action violence and some sensuality" and would be acceptable for kids around 10 and up.

My son Jeffrey, who just turned 13, gave it *** 1/2. He liked the sets, the costumes, the cleavage, the story and the action.

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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